TEAMS of young engineers achieve victory


Yvanna Reyes

TO THE TOP. Senior Max Snyder places a tennis ball on top of a straw tower while seniors Matthew Isakson and Jodie Lawson look on. They were challenged to design and build towers that would support a tennis ball. The seniors received first overall while the sophomores placed second among all freshman and sophomore teams.

On Feb. 26, SHS marked success when a team of eight sophomores and a team of eight seniors represented the school at the annual Technology Student Association (TSA) Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) competition, held at the University of Cincinnati (UC).

Both teams ranked first in their divisions, which are allotted on the basis of school size and grade.

The sophomore team, consisting of Deeptangshu ChatterjeeAndre HarteHari IyerAnisa KhatanaChee Yin LeongAlice LundgrenAnupama Narayana, and Caroline Skwara, ranked second among all 9/10 teams competing.

Meanwhile, seniors Jenna BaoDavid GodarMatthew IsaksonJodie LawsonHarsimran MakkadYvanna ReyesMax Snyder, and Matthew Swartz ranked first among all teams competing.

The competition is split by grade with two categories in which the teams competed: 9/10 and 11/12.

This is the first time the sophomores competed. But for the seniors, the competition signaled the end of a fun three years. They have participated in TEAMS since their sophomore year.

“It was a really cool high note to go out on, doing so well at our last competition and knowing we’ll be graduating school in a few months,” Swartz said.

Both groups have been meeting in sponsor Mrs. Julie Haverkos‘ room once a week since December, researching and preparing an essay.

The essay was to be completed at least one day prior to Feb. 26. The prompt required picking a prominent building within the community and proposing modifications to make it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

The senior team chose the Blue Ash Recreation Center, which they visited during school to learn more about the current systems in place.

Also part of the competition, eight topics were released, one for each team member, centering around this year’s theme of “Engineering a Greener Environment.” This included building a better environment, the economics of green engineering, and reducing light pollution.

On competition day, teams were expected to complete a 90-minute, 80-question multiple choice test revolving around the eight released topics. Collaborating was encouraged.

After the multiple choice came a design challenge, where groups were challenged to design and build a tower that would hold a tennis ball out of designated materials. Participants had no knowledge of this prior to the competition and had 45 minutes to execute the mission.

The towers were judged on height, “cost” based on how many and what materials were used, and the time it took to construct them.

“It’s so satisfying to finally win and have a successful design challenge!” Lawson said.

The senior team, because of their high multiple choice score, ranked first overall and received a $5000 scholarship to the UC College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Both teams will be hearing back about their total scores, which will include the essay and the design challenge. The top three in the state will be eligible to participate in the national competition this summer, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia.